Bob Marley on the Zohar and Human Rights (from kehila medaberet)

Exodus by Psalmist Bob Marley

The Lyrics

Exodus: Movement of Jah people! Oh-oh-oh, yea-eah!
…….
Men and people will fight ya down (Tell me why!)
When ya see Jah light. (Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!)
Let me tell you if you’re not wrong; (Then, why?)
Everything is all right.
So we gonna walk – all right! – through de roads of creation:
We the generation (Tell me why!)
(Trod through great tribulation) trod through great tribulation.

 How I hear the lyrics:

Jah People: “Jah” is “Yah” in Hebrew, one of the most sacred names of God. By “Jah People”, Marley means Rastafarians (and perhaps all humanity). In my head, “Jah People” refers both to my People Israel, and to the whole human race.

Jah Light: The light of God is transformative. You can’t be faithful to God and OK with the way the world is today. Humanity is in exile (just think of Syria). She must be protected and nurtured, as God commands, and that means shaking things up, and so people will “fight you down”.

the roads of creation: Religion deals with the big picture; it seeks to transform who we are as individuals, peoples and humanity – to turn us into higher creatures in the Image of God. That’s God’s purpose in creation.

 

Exodus, all right! Movement of Jah people!
Oh, yeah! O-oo, yeah! All right!
Exodus: Movement of Jah people! Oh, yeah!

 

Exodus, Movement: the world is broken and we often suffer as individuals: we have to move…we have to exodus Egypt…to move toward the Promised Land.

Yeah-yeah-yeah, well!
Uh! Open your eyes and look within:
Are you satisfied (with the life you’re living)? Uh!
We know where we’re going, uh!
We know where we’re from.
We’re leaving Babylon,
We’re going to our Father land.

 

 Look within…leaving Babylon. The stanza starts with the individual: are you who you want to be? (Good question for the high holidays!) It concludes with the story of a whole people (Jah People exiting Babylon and returning to Zion) . “Exile” and “Redemption” happen both in the lives of individuals (you and me) and in the histories of collectives (Jews, Africans…), and also in our psychological states (depression and anxiety vs. creativity and well-being.

2, 3, 4: Exodus: movement of Jah people! Oh, yeah!
(Movement of Jah people!) Send us another brother Moses!
(Movement of Jah people!) From across the Red Sea!
(Movement of Jah people!) Send us another brother Moses!
(Movement of Jah people!) From across the Red Sea!
Movement of Jah people!

Exodus, all right! Oo-oo-ooh! Oo-ooh!
Movement of Jah people! Oh, yeah!
Exodus!
Exodus! All right!
Exodus! Now, now, now, now!
Exodus!
Exodus! Oh, yea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ea-eah!
Exodus!
Exodus! All right!
Exodus! Uh-uh-uh-uh!

I love all the biblical imagery! Most of Marley’s images seem to be from the Hebrew Bible.

Move! Move! Move! Move! Move! Move!

 

Move! Move! Singing the song is praxis – it’s doing something – it’s casting a spell (or if you prefer: doing a meditation) to transform the self and the world, and maybe even to arouse divine forces (theurgy). In this way, the song is like the siddur and the Zohar.

Open your eyes and look within:
Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?
We know where we’re going;
We know where we’re from.
We’re leaving Babylon, y’all!

 

We’re going to our Father’s land.

Exodus, all right! Movement of Jah people!
Exodus: movement of Jah people!
Movement of Jah people!
Movement of Jah people!
Movement of Jah people!
Movement of Jah people!

Move! Move! Move! Move! Move! Move! Move!

 

 

 

Jah come to break downpression,
Rule equality,
Wipe away transgression,
Set the captives free.

Movement of Jah people…

Weekday Shacharit before the Amidah:

…[תשבחות] למלך א”ל חי וקים, רם ונשא, גדול ונורא, משפיל גאים ומגביה שפלים, מוציא אסירים, ופודה ענוים ועוזר דלים, ועונה לעמו – עם י”ה – בעת שועם אליו.

…[praises] to the rightful Sovereign, the living and enduring God – exalted and uplifted, great and awesome, Who humbles the haughty and lifts the lowly; frees the captives, liberates the oppressed, and helps the poor; Who answers God’s people – Jah People – when they turn to God.

(I hear:) The minimum standard for “human civilization”, for fulfilling our most basic moral responsibility before God, is protecting and nurturing all human beings through the global rule of law (as in mitsvat dinim, one of the seven Noachide commandments). Rule Equality.

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One thought on “Bob Marley on the Zohar and Human Rights (from kehila medaberet)

  1. Pingback: פתאי טבעוני סוף הדרך | veganlovin1

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